Here is the dumbest newspaper article
I’ve read in quite a long time. I mean dumb not just in the sense of failing to understand what most everyone else surely understands, or of taking a rolling-on-the-floor obvious point and considering it to be an original one, but of being stubbornly virtuous, too—everything that’s wrong with newspapers, in other words, boiled down into one article.
It’s by Eugene Robinson, a syndicated newspaper columnist and former Washington Post
editor, who, Wikipedia tells me (because Robinson undoubtedly told Wikipedia), has won the Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent guest on the Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews shows. Robinson is, I infer, a liberal.
His article is about sex, a subject newspaper people should probably not be writing about—at least not if they come out of that long sexless tradition called a family newspaper (tabloid reporters, on the other hand, are poets on the subject of sex, albeit with limited vocabularies). It’s about Tiger Woods’ sex life. Eugene Robinson, being a liberal, doesn’t, in theory, so much have a problem with Tiger Woods having had extramarital sex (though he digresses to point out that, personally, he believes adultery is bad), but with the women Tiger Woods has had sex with.
He thinks Woods should have had sex with smarter women.
This is because athletes everywhere so often have sex with nerdy girls? Or because Pulitzer Prize-winning columnists have to make their case for feminist cred? Or because it would have been somehow redeeming if the sex Tiger Wood had wasn’t just about sex, but about…climate change?
Or because it’s a black thing, which, I learned from his Wikipedia picture, and his membership in the National Association of Black Journalists, Robinson is. His point may be not so much about Woods’ penchant for dumb blondes, but that dumb blondes are white.
It has gone mostly unmentioned in this scandal (well, Rush Limbaugh has mentioned it
) that Tiger Woods only seems to like white girls—his wife being among the whitest. Such reticence could mean we are, truly, in a post-racial America. But that seems unlikely.
Robinson first proffers a class analysis, suggesting that if Woods had had sex with someone closer to his own station (I suppose that would be one of the Williams sisters) instead of “cocktail waitresses and nightclub hostesses”—a species of girl, Robinson believes, clearly not knowing too much about girls or technology, “who save old voice mails and text messages”—there would be less chance of tabloid exposure.
But his class analysis is really just clearing his throat for the real deal:
“What's with the whole Barbie thing?” asks Robinson, as though he couldn’t surmise a guess. And then he makes his pitch for multi-cultural sex: “The world is full of beautiful women of all colors, shapes, and sizes—some with short hair or almond eyes, some with broad noses, some with yellow or brown skin.”
Many years ago, when this seemed like a new compulsion and curious cultural development, Spin
magazine published a prescient article, titled, “Why Do Rock Stars Marry Models?”
After much consideration, the answer was: Because they can.
More of Newser founder Michael Wolff's articles and commentary can be found at VanityFair.com, where he writes a regular column. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NewserColumns.